Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure Tires with Kevlar

Goodyear
Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure tire. Tirerack

Not all tires are created equally, and the latest SUV tires from Goodyear Tire & Rubber, the Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure tire with Kevlar is a great choice for drivers who spend most of their time on the pavement but want to have the right set of tires for occasional off-road use, with minimal sacrifice in comfort, durability, and capability. 

The Wrangler name is a familiar one—it's been emblazoned on various Goodyear tires since at least 1991 according to the Goodyear website, but the big innovation in this all-new version is the addition of Kevlar, which is the trade name for an aramid fiber manufactured by the DuPont company.

Kevlar is meant to be five times stronger than steel on an equal-weight basis, which means it is extraordinarily strong for its weight and is actually used in the process of making bulletproof armor. Since Goodyear currently has the exclusive license to use the name "Kevlar" in connection with passenger car tires, the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure tires are some of the best on the market.

Lighter, Stronger, and More Puncture-Resistant

Wrangler is built much like any other steel-belted radial tire, except a layer of Kevlar replaces the usual layer of nylon cord. Starting from the outside, there's the tread, then a layer of Kevlar (one layer for standard load tires, and two layers on the Light Truck or "Pro Grade" version), then two steel belts. Replacing the nylon layer with Kevlar results in a tire that's lighter, stronger and more puncture-resistant than before, and durability is also improved, which allows Goodyear to include a 60,000-mile tread life limited warranty on the new tire.

The new Wrangler also gets a new tread pattern that is appropriate for four seasons in most sizes, and even wins the treasured "mountain-snowflake" emblem that signifies approval for winter driving. The tread is designed to grip on loose surfaces and includes open shoulder blocks and special ridges deep in the tire grooves that are said to shed dirt and snow as the tire rolls, making them "self-cleaning" during operation.

Wrangler also benefits from Goodyear's "Durawall Technology," which imparts strength and cut resistance to the sidewalls, in excess of normal street tire specs. This additional toughness will be especially welcome for SUV drivers who spend time on rocky terrain, as the sidewalls are a particularly vulnerable part of the tire during off-roading, even at low speeds.

A Personal Story of Testing On and Off-Pavement

I got to drive a 2013 Chevrolet Suburban equipped with a set of Wrangler tires during a recent trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Goodyear brought a group of automotive journalists and tire retailers to the mountain town in order to experience the adventure aspect of the new Wrangler. I drove on city streets, highways and curvy paved roads, fully expecting a noisy ride from the assertive tires. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Wranglers were as smooth and quiet as most other on-road tires I've driven on recently, and the sense of grip and confidence was up there with the best.

Then it was time for a little bit of light off-roading—actually, more like dirt-roading than genuine off-roading. Still, the Wranglers impressed, riding across dirt and light mud with little drama at all; the Durawall Technology seems to work well, imparting great road feel to the steering wheel without stiffening up the ride beyond comfort levels.

A final test came in a short autocross in a big (empty) parking lot. Goodyear set up a short tight autocross route, delineated with orange cones, and brought out a water truck to wet a few of the corners for us. They spooned a set of Wranglers on two white Ram 1500 pickup trucks, and a set of competitor's tires on two black Rams, and then let us drive them back-to-back. The Wrangler-shod Rams greatly outperformed the competitor-equipped Rams in the wet stuff, keeping their footing even under heavy acceleration during corner maneuvers. I killed a few cones in the competitor tire vehicles, even when trying to maintain a sane speed through the curvy portions of the autocross. The most significant advantage that I felt in the Wrangler was in the hundred yards or so after the water obstacle. The Wrangler instantly shed the water from its grooves and performed beautifully.

The competitor slid out in the first curve after the water hazard, seemingly retaining water later through the drive. The autocross ended with a controlled stop, slamming on the brakes to full and allowing the ABS system to bring the truck to a halt. I noticed a slight advantage for the Wrangler in this test as well, though not as significant as the wet surface test revealed.

Conclusions and recommendation

It's very difficult to evaluate a new tire, but the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar is a solid innovation in tire technology. The advantages of a Kevlar layer (or two) are obvious, and the performance of the Durawall Technology and new tread pattern were demonstrated well enough to impress. Drivers will be especially pleased with the quiet, confident on-road performance of the Wrangler since that's where most of us spend 90% or more of our time driving.

And even though it has nothing at all to do with performance, the beefy Wranglers were pretty good-looking tires, too—especially with the raised white lettering exposed to the outside. Goodyear is a premium tire brand, and Wranglers look the part.

There may be more appropriate tire choices for serious rock crawling and specialty off-roading, but those tires are difficult to live with on a day-to-day basis. However, the new Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar tires are great for everyday use on your SUV, especially with its 60,000-mile tread wear warranty.  See the  Manufacturer's Site to find a local dealer for your replacement Wrangler tires today!

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.